25th March 2008

“God, so atrocious in the Old Testament, so attractive in the New – the Jekyl and Hyde of sacred romance.”

Mark Twain1835 – 1910

5 Responses to “25th March 2008”

  1. Terence Meaden Says:

    The wording is unfortunate–ill-chosen, I would say.
    I would prefer to see it in context.

  2. Chris Says:

    Twain considered religion entirely a sales job so I guess what he’s saying here is “Try the NEW testament! It’s NEW and IMPROVED!” in as sarcastic a fashion as he could think of at the moment. ‘Course, religionistas would take this to be an endorsement in much the same way they took “God does not play dice” to be an acknowedgement of belief in god by Einstein which was, of course, wrong. That kind of thing pisses me of, frankly.

  3. Tzuriel Says:

    The quote that Christians mostly focus on with regards to Einstein is the one where he says (paraphrased) that the more he discovers concerning the universe, the more he believes in a higher power. So, though this doesn’t mean he believes specifically in the Christian God, this does mean he had at least some belief in a God, or higher power. And believed that this power doesn’t play dice. It actually plays slots, and poker occasionally.
    That aside, this is actually a very clever quote, and the kind that Twain would come up with. Of course, a typical Christian reply would be something like that God was “atrocious” in the Old Test. because the people were being wicked and needed to be punished, etc., and was good in the New because the people you follow in the New are his followers, and so didn’t need to be punished. Old focuses on an entire nation, New on a small group. Or they could say that God was both nice and mean in both parts of the Bible, as he had caring moments in the Old (keeping Isaac alive) and not-so-caring moments in the New (punishment of sorcerers, etc., found in Acts). They would say that their “enemies” focus on certain aspects of God to the exclusion of others, and therefore don’t fight against the whole thing, which is some kind of fallacy that I can’t remember. Basically meaning that you pick your fights in your favor and ignore areas where you have glaring weaknesses or know you would lose. So, my question is, how do you guys reply to that?

  4. CaptainZero1969 Says:

    Einstein believed in Nature as God. ““It was, of course, a lie what you read about my religious convictions, a lie which is being systematically repeated. I do not believe in a personal God and I have never denied this but have expressed it clearly. If something is in me which can be called religious then it is the unbounded admiration for the structure of the world so far as our science can reveal it.” A.E.

    To the second, it requires no serious reply, really, since it’s all made up. Sorry to be terse but it’s like arguing over what color your invisible unicorn is.

  5. Tzuriel Says:

    I stand corrected. That’s a good quote.

    As for your second paragraph, I must say I had hoped for more (though the line about the invisible unicorn was clever). I can’t say anything other than I could see someone using this reply as proof that you ignore arguments that are effective against you. Though you have a point in that arguing about the nature of God is moot if he doesn’t exist. But many atheists take personal issue with the fact that God, if he does exist, hasn’t made a better world for us, and therefore can’t be a good God, so Christianity is wrong. That is why I posed the question. If I could conclusivly prove God was, at his nature, good, and that all the stuff that’s going on in the world is for the best or part of his plan for all our happiness (not saying that I can), what would you say to it?